John Gribbin was born in 1946 in Maidstone, Kent. He studied physics at the University of Sussex and went on to complete an MSc in astronomy at the same University before moving to the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, to work for his PhD.
After working for the journal Nature and New Scientist, he has concentrated chiefly on writing books. These include In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, In Search of the Double Helix and In Search of the Big Bang. A biography Stephen Hawking (co-written with Michael White) spent 12 weeks on the Sunday Times' hardback best-seller list – only prevented from hitting the top spot by A Brief History of Time. His books have received science-writing awards both in the UK and the US.
His other biographical subjects include Richard Feynman, Galileo, Buddy Holly and most recently James Lovelock.
Since 1993, Gribbin has been a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, chiefly working on the problem of determining the age of the Universe.